By Rebecca Brightwell, Farm Again Staff
The brain is somewhat like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Many factors contribute to age-related memory loss including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. There are several strategies to compensate for memory loss:
Color coding proved an effective strategy on one horse farm. One of the young men that works on the farm has a cognitive disability. He is responsible for feeding the horses each day. There are several different types of feed that the horses are given. The young man often forgot the number of scoops and mixture for each horse.
A simple solution was to use color coding. Each grain barrel has a unique color stripe to identify it from the other barrels. The scoops in each barrel matched the barrel color. Finally, a sign was placed above each horse stall showing the number of scoops by color each horse required.
All of the workers on the horse farm said they benefited greatly by this simple and yet effective color coding technique.
When it comes to memory, it’s “use it or lose it.” Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower the risk of mental decline. Here are some ideas for brain exercise, from light workouts to heavy lifting:
People who don’t have social contact with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Social interaction helps brain function in several ways: it often involves activity that challenges the mind, and it helps ward off stress and depression. So join a book club, reconnect with old friends, visit the local senior center. Being with other people will help keep you sharp!
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